Approximately 90% of American adults have a valid driver’s license.
The pandemic slowed the roll of traffic, but that’s starting to pick up again as people return to work and life demands. That 90% licensed status translates to nearly 290 million cars on the roads across the U.S. in 2021 alone.
Considering the majority of those aren’t electric or even hybrids that leaves the petroleum industry laughing all the way to the bank.
Unfortunately, with gas prices averaging over $3.40 per gallon nationwide for regular grade alone, consumers are the ones left crying after their fuel purchases. But there are some practical ways to save money on gas, and joining a free loyalty program could help every time you fill your tank.
The 7 Best Ways to Save on Gasoline
Here are the best, easy ways you can use to save money on your gas purchase.
1. Use Tada to get $1 cash back every time you fuel up at the pump.
Tada is a free rewards app that gives you cash back on your grocery store purchases. Just scan the receipt, and earn cash back for purchasing items in featured categories or specific brands. But did you know you can earn cash for your fuel receipts?
Fuel up at one of dozens of national gas station chains. Then take a pic of your receipt and tap send on your phone. You can get $1 cash back every time you fuel up at the pump – for up to 1 re-fuel per week. Sign up for Tada.
2. Keep your tires inflated.
Newer vehicles have warning lights to notify when your tires need to be inflated. But those lights don’t usually appear when they’re just slightly low. Even slight changes in air pressure can affect your car’s gas consumption. So check once a week or so to ensure your tires are inflated correctly according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
3. Engage Eco mode if available.
If your car has an eco mode button or option, always remember to press or use that after starting your vehicle. The eco mode allows the engine to function on less gas, saving you 10% or more. And if you drive a hybrid, try to run on electric mode to extend the fill-up time and save money on your future fuel purchase.
4. Drive more slowly.
Try to focus on lowering your speed a good 5-10 mph below the speeds you usually travel.
5. Avoid rush hour and heavy traffic routes.
Heavy traffic is especially hard on your car. The continuous stops and starts pull on the engine, causing extra idling and more fuel consumption. So avoid rush hour whenever possible. And get into the habit of checking your phone or GPS for better routes in the event of construction, congestion, or accidents.
6. Keep your car well maintained.
Your manufacturer’s guide should have a maintenance schedule for your specific vehicle. Be sure to stick to that plan to keep your car in good working order. The better your engine runs, the better your fuel efficiency will be.
7. Sign up for, and use at least one fuel rewards program.
Fuel rewards can come in handy for either a partial fuel purchase or full fill-up at the pump. Fuel rewards can be redeemed at the pump to help you save money at participating Shell stations or whichever gas station the card honors. Different levels can increase the savings, so opt for gold status whenever possible.
How to Burn Less Gas
Here are some tips on how to burn less gas.
- Drive less often or only when needed.
- Use cruise control on the highways and coast whenever possible
- Cruise control keeps your car at a constant speed without idling or acceleration. Pressing on the gas pedal forces more energy from the engine and uses more gas. Continuously braking does the same, so cruise and coast when possible.
- Replace dirty air filters when needed
- Dirty air filters cause the engine to work harder. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendation or just include it during your next oil change.
- Reduce the weight in your vehicle (even just cleaning out the trunk helps)
- Every hundred pounds of extra weight in your vehicle decreases fuel efficiency by up to 2%. So, clear your car out of unnecessary items. That doesn’t mean toss your partner out the window. But clean out the trunk and backseat every so often to keep the extra weight down.
Does turning on the car’s AC waste gas?
All electronic processes in your vehicle require some energy to function. Running your air conditioner during the warmer months can affect your fuel efficiency by about three miles per gallon. The more it’s run, the more those cents will add up.
When people discover the air pulls on their gas gauge, they often tend to roll down their windows. However, that causes air to rush in, causing your car to expend more effort and energy to move. Summer months can be sweltering.
In either case, the warmer months will affect your gas gauge somewhat. After all, there’s no reason to be miserable when driving or riding in a vehicle. Just be sure to use your best judgment to run the air at a comfortable level, and don’t roll down the windows if you’re traveling at speeds over 40 mph. That way, the resulting gas expenditure won’t be such a waste.
How can I get a discount on gas?
Getting a discount on gas is pretty easy nowadays if you implement some tech tricks and store specials.
Many warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco offer gas deals to their members, so take advantage of those deals to see fuel rewards savings.
Other participating fuel stations and select regional grocery stores also often offer a price roll on gasoline.
Buy discounted gas cards through special apps or websites, or just pick up discounted cards at your favorite retailer or during a fill-up.
Many gas stations raise their prices for the weekend, so try to plan your refuel day on Thursday morning when the gas prices are usually down a few cents. Avoid filling up over the weekend whenever possible since those prices will almost always be higher.
And join fuel rewards to use at participating Shell stations or opt for another fuel rewards program. Earn rewards every time you shop or buy gas. Then choose when to redeem your fuel rewards right at the pump to save money. The more you spend, the more you’ll earn. Opt for gold status to earn rewards at a faster rate.
Which gas stations give rewards, and are they worth it?
Nowadays, most gas stations, and many grocery stores, offer fuel rewards or a specific fuel rewards program to their customers. While all claim to let you easily earn rewards and save money at the pump, not all are even close to being equal.
Fuel Rewards members always save money when buying gasoline, so be sure to use a fuel rewards loyalty card whenever possible. Some of the best options include:
Previously known as the BP Driver Rewards program, the program was renamed and redesigned to work for BP and Amoco customers.
Did you know that Swagbucks will give you $1.00 for installing the free BPme Rewards app? And right now, for a limited time, you can save 40-cents per gallon when you open the app on your phone and register for BPme Rewards using the promo code SAVE40. Get BPme Rewards now.
Circle K Easy Rewards
Earn points at a rate of 10 cents per gallon of gas and 20 cents for snacks and non-gas-related purchases at Circle K.
Speedway Speedy Rewards
They offer similar rewards as Circle K but at Speedway stores.
Shell Fuel Rewards
This is undoubtedly one of the best options. You can easily sign up for the fuel rewards program at participating Shell stations to start earning right away. Spend $50 at participating restaurants to earn 10 cents off per gallon of gas.
Earn 10 cents off per gallon of gas when you spend $50 on live tickets. And earn 5 cents off per gallon when you spend $50 at the grocery stores linked to your fuel rewards card.
Upgrade to gold status to earn more points and at a faster rate. But regardless of whether you get gold status, fuel rewards will always offer fun and flexible ways to save money when you fill up.
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